Bojan Bogdanovic scored 25 points, Victor Oladipo had 24 and the Indiana Pacers defeated Cleveland 119-107 on Saturday night, keeping the Cavaliers winless this season.
Cleveland (0-6) is off to its worst start since losing its first seven games in the 1995-96 season. The Cavaliers are struggling to adjust without LeBron James and also missed forward Kevin Love, who was out for the second straight game because of a sore left foot.
Cleveland cut a 15-point lead to 97-91 early in the fourth quarter before Indiana regained control with four straight baskets. Darren Collison scored on a layup and a jumper, Oladipo hit a 12-footer and Domanta Sabonis scored in the lane.
Sabonis made another layup and Oladipo’s 3-pointer with 3:58 left pushed the lead to 113-98.
Indiana (4-2) placed six players in double figures. Collison, Myles Turner and Sabonis each scored 15 points while Thaddeus Young added 10.
Rodney Hood led Cleveland with 17 points while Larry Nance Jr. came off the bench to score 15.
The teams met for the first time since Cleveland defeated Indiana in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. James scored 45 points in Game 7 and the Cavaliers survived their toughest test in reaching the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season.
Cleveland has struggled without James, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, and also is missing Love and his team-leading 19 points a game.
Indiana, coming off a 20-point victory in San Antonio on Wednesday, went ahead for good midway through the second quarter. Oladipo scored on a layup, a dunk and a jumper as Indiana turned a four-point deficit into a 60-55 halftime lead.
The Pacers’ run continued in the third quarter. Oladipo and Bogdanovic hit 3-pointers, and Collison knocked down a jumper from the corner and scored in the lane, to lead 81-66.
Indiana guard Tyreke Evans sat out the game because of a violation of team rules. In a tweet posted by the team Friday, Evans said he was late for practice. He’s expected to play Monday against Portland.
The five-time All-Star also missed Thursday’s game against Detroit. Love missed three of the Cavaliers’ four exhibition games because of the injury, and it’s uncertain when he’ll return.
“He tried to play through it understanding we hadn’t won a game and we were struggling a little bit,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “He wanted to be on the floor and try to make a difference. We applaud him for that. We just hope he can get healthy soon.”
Pacers: Indiana’s depth has been a major factor in the early going. Six players average in double figures and two others scored nine points a game. … Evans is averaging 12 points in five games in his first season with the team.
Cavaliers: Rookie Collin Sexton was assessed a technical foul after swatting away Cory Joseph’s hand as the Pacers guard was battling for position on an inbounds play. … F Sam Dekker started in place of Love.
Pacers: Host Portland on Monday. Indiana is 2-0 at home with an average margin of 20 points.
Cavaliers: Host Atlanta on Tuesday. The Hawks were a 133-111 winner in Cleveland on Oct. 21.
Source: The Associated Press